LOBBY, Istanbul / ISTANBUL SABIHA GÖKÇEN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INVESTMENT DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIO / 2019
Holding Turkey’s first “special needs friendly” airport title, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) aimed to publicize the voice of individuals with Down syndrome, autism, and mental difference, who are mostly considered as mentally challenged by society on an international scale, in cooperation with Istanbul Education and Solidarity Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped, IZEV.
The aim of this project which is created according to the “Reducing Inequalities” objective from the Sustainable Development Goals, was to spread the influence of the message of IZEV to a wider audience, to carry it to the international platform and to defend the right to live of “different” individuals worldwide.
The project's mission towards society was to transform the negative perception of people's minds into positivities at home and abroad. For this reason, the project should be carried to the international platform and a worldwide case study should be carried out.
ISG has sponsored IZEV’s “Animals and Us” exhibition which is the second leg of IZEV’s “Life and Us” project.
Within the scope of this sponsorship; concepts defining human emotions were matched to animals representing those feelings and young mentally handicapped participants were photographed with those animals.
The inspiration needed for firstly individualizing then socializing and eventually liberating without highlighting the weaknesses of handicapped young people on an international scale, was found in Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” song.
To convey the message to the masses who cannot be accessed by the social studies aimed for awareness of the disabled, emphasis was on the rebellious stance of the song. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters donated the rights of the Turkish version of “Another Brick in the Wall” to the project for two years. Thusly, disabled young people from the project shoot a music video and created an international disability manifest.
With a world-renowned artist and well-known local artists, it was aimed to put forward a project outweighing the stance of protest and artistic aspect, to reach the audiences who cannot be accessed by the social studies aimed for the awareness of the disabled both in Turkey and abroad, and to create a disability manifest which would be worldwidely effective.
Both with “Animals and Us” exhibition and “The Wall” music video, it was necessary to make themselves and the target audience feel that these ”different“ young people, who existed in every age and every area of life, but were ignored, had the same rights as ”normal“ individuals.
It was the main strategy to spread the universel message of the “Another Birck On The Wall” to the wider masses with the hlep of lyrics adapted about the marginalization of disabled individuals all over the world and an effective music video.
The theme of the “Animals and Us” photo exhibition was 14 young people with down syndrome, autism and mental retardation who were matched with human emotions and animals representing them. The exhibition’s premiere was at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.
The participants of the project were ready to challenge their own prejudices in order to break the ones society has. They reached out to Roger Waters and invited him to Turkey via a video they shoot and a handmade ceramic invitation.
Waters didn’t come but donated the rights of the Turkish version of the song to IZEV for two years.
After finishing their photo shootings, the young participants of the project shoot a music video with the support of Turkish artists like Selda Bagcan, Funda Arar, Kubat and Koray Avci.
The video was first shared with business people, artists, press and other shareholders at the launch party organized in April.
The project was an important step towards transforming negative perception into positive, about individuals with down syndrome, who were defined as mentally handicapped in the society, taking into account Reducing Inequalities objective.
Individuals with Down syndrome; prove to society, their families and themselves that they can be the main element of an artwork and they can participate in all stages of a project that society applauds.
The four exhibitions were visited by 1.010.750 visitors. Exhibition crossed the national borders with Miami leg and is being planned to be held in New York and Los Angeles.
With 1398 news on media (print media, tv, internet), the campaign achieved 23.000.000 total reach.
The news appeared in most of the national channels including CNNTurk and FOX.
13.000.000 reach and 6.500.000 interactions were made through social media, video clip reached approximately 3.900.000 views, 384.000 likes and 10.000 comments.